Los Altos High School student Alisha Mirapuri's deep interest in technology and computer science hasn't gone unnoticed. On Monday, the Society of Women Engineers awarded Mirapuri and six other girls across the country with the Global Innovator Award, acknowledging her "deep understanding of engineering principles" as well as her active role in the community.
Mirapuri, a Mountain View resident, has worked on coding projects and volunteer initiatives for years, and recently took part in two high-profile tech events, according to a statement by the society on Sept. 11. She participated in the 2016 "Technovation" competition at Yahoo, where she and her team created an app that crowdsources restaurant wait times, and over the last summer attended the MIT Launch Summer Program, where she worked on a project aimed at making 3D printing more accessible to consumers.
Mirapuri also launched her own volunteer initiative called "Karel Konnect," a weekly program that teaches low-income minority students in middle school the basics of coding using Java.
"Many of these kids have minimal exposure or access to simple technology, but I showed them the endless possibilities of combining their creative passions and computer science," Mirapuri said in a statement.
The award program, now in its second year, is intended to "nurture" girls who show an interest in engineering, as well as encourage more women to enter the field through role models like Mirapuri, said Randy Freedman, director of student programs at the Society of Women Engineers.
"Alisha has been an exemplary role model in her community, and we are confident that with her passion for computer science, and her commitment to the community, Alisha will do great things," Freedman said.
Mirapuri will receive the award at a formal ceremony hosted in Austin, Texas on Oct. 27.